The Impact of Obesity on Breast Cancer
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The rates of obesity are increasing worldwide and this condition is now recognized as a leading preventable cause of cancer. Several diseases are directly related to obesity, including diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis, stroke, musculoskeletal disorders, and a diverse range of malignances—such as breast cancer. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of postmenopausal estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer and worse cancer-related outcomes for all breast tumor subtypes. Several mechanisms have been proposed to contribute to the obesity-cancer link, including high levels of circulating and local estrogens, altered amounts of adipokines (leptin and adiponectin), disrupted insulin/IGF signaling, modifications within the microbiome, and local and systemic effects of inflammation. Here we will review recent advances in our understanding of the complex signaling pathways underlying the obesity-cancer link. An improved understanding of these processes is anticipated to propel novel and effective intervention strategies to reduce the global obesity-cancer burden.
KeywordsObesity Inflammation Adipose tissue Insulin Metabolic syndrome Breast cancer
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Conflict of Interest
Daniel F. Argolo, Clifford A. Hudis, and Neil M. Iyengar declare they have no conflict of interest.
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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
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